Ex Barcelona star tips Zambia


… Ronaldinho will lead the Barcelona team to face Zambia in December

By Sports Reporter

FORMER Barcelona attacking midfielder Rayco Garcia says Zambia can qualify for the 2018 World Cup provided they win the home games and record draws in away ties.

Garcia and former Barcelona winger Ludovic Guily arrived yesterday at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) in Lusaka ahead of negotiations for the visit by the Spanish club legends to Zambia in December.

The Barcelona team to play Zambia will include legends Ronaldinho, Gianluca Zambrotta and Ruud Gullit.

Garcia said Zambia was in a difficult group but with the right tactical and mental approach, the Chipolopolo can qualify.

“Since winning the 2012 African Cup of Nations, some players are nearly descending but the team also has the new crop, with the right combination and attitude Zambia can qualify. Zambia needs to win all the home games and record draw in away ties,” he said.

He said the Chipolopolo should have the spirit of belief that they can qualify to the World Cup.

“Self-belief is vital when aiming for a tough target. The team needs to have the belief that they can overcome Algeria, Nigeria and Cameroon. It is very possible because Zambia has so much talent,” he said.

Garcia said the visit by former Barcelona players would significantly foresee economic and tourism benefit to Zambia.

He further pledged to promote Zambia by conducting coaching clinic and putting up a soccer academy.

“Zambia has enormous talent but only lack the platform to enhance it. Our aim is to bring together talented kids and nurture their talent to that of an international player. I believe Zambia can produce players’ capable of playing in the Spanish League,” he said.

Guily said he was thrilled to visit Zambia and had no doubt the they will soon achieve the dream of a World Cup qualification.

He said the mental preparedness of the team was vital and advised the Chipolopolo players to instil a positive mind.

“I believe Zambia can achieve more. They just have to instil a positive character and work hard to achieve the dream. I am confident the visit in December will be a success,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sports minister Moses Mawere said he was hopeful the meeting with the former Barcelona players will provide an opportunity for strengthening development of football.

“I believe playing a big team like Barcelona will greatly improve the standard for our national team. The team will be exposed to high levels of skills and tactics of soccer played in the Spanish league,” he said.

And FAZ executive committee member Dr. Joesph Mulenga said the establishment of the acedimies will extremely hyelp in expose talent and produce quality players.

Mulenga said FAZ was ready to work with the Spanish team to ensure the project is a success.

Guily was part of Barcelona’s squad that won the 2005/2006 UEFA Champions League.

He also represented France at international level, and was a member of the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup-winning team.